CUNY Names New President Of LaGuardia Community College

April 26, 2000 | The University

The City University of New York Board of Trustees named Dr. Gail O. Mellow, a nationally recognized leader in community college education as president of Fiorello H. LaGuardia Community College on April 24. Her appointment, effective August 1, was recommended to the Board of Trustees by Chancellor Matthew Goldstein after a national search. Trustee Satish K. Babbar chaired the search committee.

President of Gloucester Community College in Sewell, N.J. since 1997, Dr. Mellow has also held senior administrative positions at three other community colleges in the tri-state area, including LaGuardia Community College, where she was Senior Administrator for Curriculum and Pedagogy before taking up her post at Gloucester.

“Dr. Mellow brings extensive experience and a strong commitment to academic excellence and student success to LaGuardia Community College,” said CUNY Chairman Herman Badillo.

From 1994-96 she was Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Rockland Community College in Suffern, N.Y. Earlier she was Acting President of Quinnebaug Valley Community-Technical College in Danielson, Ct. as well as Academic Dean there. more

Dr. Mellow was also Director of the University of Connecticut Women’s Center in Storrs, Ct., and was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Essex Community College in Baltimore.

Dr. Mellow received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Social Psychology from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Albany, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and her A.A. in Liberal Arts from Jamestown Community College in Jamestown, N.Y.

During her presidency, Gloucester Community College launched six new academic programs, developed a strategic plan, boosted enrollments by 12% to 4,600 students and developed a 20-year facilities Master Plan. The college also secured construction funding for an $8 million Science and Technology Center and a $1.2 million Technology Infrastructure Grant.

Dr. Mellow is Chair of the American Council on Education’s Commission on Adult Learning and Educational Credentials. She was appointed by the Governor to the New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission as the community college representative, and as Chair of the Technology Policy Committee of the New Jersey Presidents’ Council on Technology Committee. She is a member of the American Association for Higher Education’s Board of Directors.

She formerly served on the College Board, as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Northeastern Connecticut Economic Alliance, and as Team Chair of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Dr. Mellow has been a frequent invited conference speaker and author of articles on community college issues. She was co-author of Healing Technologies: Feminist Perspectives, published by University of Michigan Press, and of Double Jeopardy-the Precarious Status of Women of Color: Issues of Race/Ethnicity and Gender, published by the University of Connecticut.

LaGuardia Community College, located in Long Island City, Queens, since 1971, has a diverse student body of 10,400, which draws on the many immigrant communities of Western Queens, plus a Division of Adult and Continuing Education that serves over 22,000 students yearly.

As CUNY’s only cooperative education college, LaGuardia requires all day students to complete two work internships and associated courses designed to prepare them to enter into the workforce.

Special programs include three on-campus high schools that are nationally recognized programs of college/high school collaborations; the Exploring Transfer program with Vassar College; an historical archives that includes the papers of most of New York City’s mayors of the past half century, an urban literary magazine, and scientific research programs for students. The College also plays a leading role in spreading the model of community colleges to countries around the world.

LaGuardia offers some 30 associate degree programs, including both liberal arts transfer programs and career programs in the health professions, business, and computer sciences. It is the home to the largest Continuing Education Program for Deaf Adults based at a community college and includes an Institute for Sign Language Interpretation. Through the LaGuardia Urban Center for Economic Development (LUCED) the Adult and Continuing Education Division works with the City’s employers to provide management development and communication skills for their employees. Entrepreneurs also receive training in preparing business plans, marketing and computers.